WORKFORCE: Northern Devon Healthcare Trust chief executive Jac Kelly is to leave the trust in April after almost eight years.

Ms Kelly first joined the trust as turnaround director in 2006. Under her leadership the trust has expanded from providing district general hospital services in Barnstable to also deliver community services and social care across the north and east of Devon.

In a statement Ms Kelly said she felt now was the right time to leave to allow someone else to lead the organisation to foundation trust status. The trust’s application has been delayed three times over the past three years.

She added: “We are the envy of the rest of the NHS in terms of our integration with acute and community services and community health and social care services, care that we have run for many years.

“What this means is that we don’t just see patients as an acute episode or a home visit, but as a whole person with needs that we support. I am proud to have been part of this.”

Ms Kelly has held a number of leadership roles in the south west, including chief executive of the old Somerset Health Authority and the North Devon primary care trust.

Anthony Farnsworth, NHS England’s area team director for Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, said: “Her impact has been characterised by the ability to recover and improve the services she has been responsible for…

“She has always focused on what really matters and has used her position to argue hard for what is right, what works well, what is practical and has had the drive to achieve and to liberate the achievement of others.”

Andy Robinson, director of finance and deputy chief executive, will take on the role on interim basis while the trust recruits a permanent replacement.